India needs to build more global food brands: Rajesh Agrawal, Addl secretary, Govt of India

India’s share in global processed food exports is 1% which is far less than its potential, aspire at least to reach 10 to 15% Rajesh Agrawal tells the industry

Our role at Govt is to provide a level playing field for equitable market access globally: Rajesh Agrawal

Millet, HORECA and Plant based protein is the focus of the IndusFood 2023

600 exhibitors and 1300 buyers from 80 plus countries as part of IndusFood 2023, expects business deals worth US $ 1bn+ to be negotiated

Hyderabad, January 08, 2023: The largest integrated F&B trade show in South Asia and the biggest edition of IndusFood so far kicked off in Hyderabad on Sunday morning at Hitex. The a three-day event was inaugurated by . Rajesh Agrawal, IAS and Dr Srikar K Reddy, Additional Secretary and Joint Secretaries of Department of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India in presence of large members of exhibitors and buyers.

The first ever edition in Telangana is hosting 1,300+ world class buyers from 80 plus countries interfacing with 600+ Indian exhibitors. The three-day event is expected to negotiate aggregate business deals worth US$ 1 billion+. Nearly 50 plus global food retail chain brands and their representatives are taking part in the exhibition.

Speaking on the occasion, delivering his keynote address Rajesh Agrawal said Indus Show made tremendous progress in the past six years, because of the entrepreneurial zeal of Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), who conceived the show. It is a unique show and a strong platform. We must make it big and the best in the world in the years to come, he said.
Though we are doing well on the agri exports front, we are still far behind our true potential. Our agri exports today stand at 50bn US $ however our share of processed food is less than 1% share in exports of processed food category. We must aspire to take up our share in the global market to 10%.

Speaking further the Union Additional Secretary Rajesh Agrawal said we are unable to create global brands in the F & B industry. Ideally, we need to create 50 brands, then we will be able to do our job well. We must think globally and build brands. We must pay serious attention to how to promote Indian cuisine abroad.

The UN General Assembly declared 2023 as the year of Millets at the instance of India. Our Prime Minister made a strong argument for this. Now we have a huge opportunity. India is the major producer of millets. Millets are a wonderful spice. Use this opportunity, showcase to the world Indian strengths in millets, its nutritious values, and taste. Package it well. It will open new doors of opportunities, said Rajesh Agrawal.

Another challenge is how to promote authentic Indian cuisine? He asked and added that we don’t have chefs who are experts in authentic cuisines. So we must promote skill development. One authentic chef can do a great lot of good to promote our native cuisines. Under free trade agreement with Australia, we made sure that it gives 1880 annual visas to Yoga teachers and chefs, he shared.

Our role at Govt is to provide a level playing field for equitable market access globally. We entered bilateral agreements between various nations to help the industry. If you have any pain points, problem areas and need policy interventions, please let us know. We will do the needful, the Union Additional Secretary told the industry representatives. He told the Trade Promotion Council of India to have a research hub in its systems to resolve any problems confronting the industry.

Dr Srikar Reddy highlighted various initiatives of the government in helping the industry. The year 2022 was significant in terms of exports. The year 2020-2021 saw US $ 400 bn worth exports and it rose to 422 billion subsequently. The two bilateral agreements entered in the recent past with Australia and UAE augur good for the industry. The Government of India is supporting the promotion of ethnic food by way of setting up export clusters, he informed.
Giving his welcome address Mohit Singla, Founder Chairman TPCI said over the past six years, IndusFood has become the sole catalyst for robust growth in India’s processed food exports, by ensuring direct linkages for Indian F&B exporters with global buyers. It is the largest ever edition held so far. One of the major features of this year is the presence of mainstream buyers in large numbers, which has so far been a critical challenge for Indian exporters. Indusfood has been able to bring institutional buyers from the remotest corners like French Guinea, Mangolia, Papua New Guinea, Reunion, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sint Maarten, Syria, Togo and Turkenistan, he added.

This year with exclusive focus is on millets. So IndusFood is showcasing millet-based value-added products. India is globally regarded as the land of Vegetarian food with a huge variety of products. So, we have also been focusing on plant-based protein.

India’s F&B exports were recorded at US$ 42 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% YoY since 2017. Correspondingly, processed food exports have grown at a particularly robust pace of over 20% during the period to reach US$ 8 billion in 2021. During January-October, 2022, processed food product exports have further accelerated by 32% YoY to reach US$ 8.6 billion. “We are positive that Indusfood 2023 will play a catalytic role in building on this strong growth momentum both internationally and in the domestic market,” Singla added.
Top global sourcing giants of the F&B industry registered such as – Mohamed Mustafa & Samsuddin Co Pte Ltd (Singapore), Shrijees Supermarket (Tanzania), Apna Bazar (US), Grand Hyper (UAE), Nesto (UAE), Choithrams (UAE), Lulu Group International (UAE), (UAE), City Centre Central Markets (Kuwait), Babasons WII (Bahrain) and many more will be visiting the show.

Indusfood 2023 is giving focussed attention to domestic F&B opportunities, considering the strong growth potential in the Indian market. A number of modern trade players, e-commerce firms, QSRs, airlines and startups from India will be present at the marquee event.

TPCI will also inaugurate the Indus Knowledge Hub during the show. A novel initiative to fuel knowledge-driven collaboration, Indus Knowledge Hub will involve a series of exciting seminars and panel discussions, wherein global leaders in the space will share best business practices, opportunities, challenges and growth prospects for Indian F&B players.
Indusfood 2023 is featuring a variety of food & beverage products from India, including raw and processed, alcoholic/non-alcoholic, organic, healthy, plant-based, ready-to-eat and ethnic, across over 16 zones. This year, an unprecedented number of promising F&B start-ups are exhibiting at the event. Furthermore, plant-based food, health food, organic and dairy categories have seen stronger participation.

Telangana state has a separate pavilion where over 11 MSMEs are showcasing their products. Rajesh Agrawal and Dr Srikar Reddy also inaugurated Telangana pavilion in the presence of Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Govt of Telangana.